Maurice Canady has become somewhat of a forgotten player with the Dallas Cowboys. After signing as a free agent last year and deciding to opt-out of the 2020 season due to the COVID pandemic, he is flying way under the radar right now. Despite that, he is still someone who can make some noise this offseason.
When it comes to to position battles this year for the Cowboys there is probably none more intriguing or important than at cornerback. All eyes will be on the position from here on out, and although Maurice Canady isn’t a name thrown out there much, he is someone everybody should keep an eye on.
At 6’1”, 193 pounds, Canady fits a prototypical mold Dan Quinn has preferred in his outside cornerbacks in the past. Also, his past experience in the league could give him a slight advantage over some of the competition. That alone should make him a player worth watching.
However, there’s no denying he faces an uphill battle to make the team. As things stand right now, only Trevon Diggs is all but guaranteed a starting job in 2021. Who starts opposite him and at nickel is completely up in the air. It’s sure to be a heated battle with plenty of competition, but where anybody fits right now, including Canady, is anyone’s guess.
Sure, Canady is probably the odd man out after the Cowboys drafted both Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright, and re-signed Jourdan Lewis this year. Still, don’t totally discount him working his way into the competition.
A year away from the game doesn’t help his odds any, but after the 2019 season with the New York Jets he was graded as the 24th best cornerback by PFF with a grade of 71.5. That’s certainly nothing to scoff at, but it doesn’t exactly help his cause much either. He’s going to have to prove himself worthy of sticking around just like everybody else.
His special teams ability is what could be the difference-maker when it comes to whether or not he makes it through roster cuts. It’s a role he’s accustomed to playing and his past experience at Virginia as a punt returner (averaged 25.2 yards per attempt) could help set himself apart from the rest.
Sadly, though, we all know money speaks in the NFL and that could put Canady in the Cowboys crosshairs. They could save a little over $1 million by releasing him and while that’s not a ton of money, it is quite a bit to pay for a utility cornerback. Unfortunately, that could very well work against him.
With all of that in mind though, I still think Canady is still someone who shouldn’t be overlooked in the CB position battle with the Cowboys this year. There’s a lot to like about him, and his past experience could make him an invaluable player at some point in the season if/when he’s ever needed.